Large crowds and loud noises can be overwhelming for kids with autism and other special needs, but that doesn’t mean they have to miss out on the thrill of visiting a fair. The Ohio State Fair is hosting a sensory-friendly day for those with special needs.
From amusement parks to airports, many businesses are accommodating kids and adults with autism and other sensory-related special needs. Now, the Ohio State Fair is following suit with a sensory-friendly day designed to give fair goers with autism an experience they can enjoy.
On Jul. 31 the fair will turn off the lights and loud music, minimize line wait times and crowds and open a quiet room in order to accommodate those with autism and other sensory-related special needs. The fair will also be providing visual schedules and Wait Cards, which help minimize the stress of understanding how lines and wait times work.
“If you are overwhelmed and need a break, you can go in the quiet room,” Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence executive director Shawn Henry told WDTN. “We’ll have fidgets and other items just to make the environment something that’s inviting, that’s relaxing, then, you can go back out and enjoy other activities,” adding this event is the first of its kind. “The fair is probably going to be one of the most accessible fairs in the entire country.”
Henry thinks more fairs will follow in Ohio’s footsteps. “I really think that the Ohio State Fair is blazing a trail,” Henry said. “The fair is probably going to be [one of the most] accessible fairs in the entire country.”
Featured photo: Scott Webb via Pixabay